Letters of support for sex offender ex-bishop Peter Ball released

BBC News

By Tom Symonds
Home Affairs correspondent

A former Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to police in 1993 with letters of support for the then Bishop of Gloucester who was being investigated for sex offences, it can be revealed.

Ex-archbishop George Carey said Peter Ball was in “torment” as a result of a police investigation, letters released by the Crown Prosecution Service show.

It was “improbable” he was guilty, the letters show he told police.

Ball, 83, was jailed for a string of offences against young men in October.

He was sentenced to 32 months for misconduct in a public office and 15 months for indecent assaults, to run concurrently.

‘Church cover-up’

Lord Carey also wrote in a letter to Barbara Mills – then the director of public prosecutions – that Ball’s health was fragile and the decision to prosecute should be made “as speedily as possible”.

The letters have been released by the CPS in response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the BBC and others, after it emerged that members of the establishment had written personal letters on Ball’s behalf.

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